World War Two

Where can I find information about World War Two?

Entry last updated: 30/07/21


World War II (ie WWII or WW2) was a global war which resulted in the death of 50 to 85 million people. It became the deadliest and most widespread conflict in human history. The war lasted from 1939 to 1945 with the involvement of most countries including all of the worlds' great powers'.

General websites

There are lots of good websites available that have useful facts, photos and audio recordings about the war. Here are some of our favourite websites which cover how the war started, what countries fought, where the battles took place, what it was like for the soldiers and civilians during the war years, the worldwide war effort involved, how the war ended and life afterwards.

BBC World Wars

This is a great website which has articles covering many war related topics.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About the BBC page on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Imperial War Museum

Located in Britain, the Imperial War Museum is said to be one of the best museums dedicated to military history.

  • Go to the menu at the top left hand corner.
  • Select Stories.
  • Scroll down the page and you will find a wide range of information about the Second World War eg How Europe Went To War In 1939.
Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the organisation’s mission and values are.

Britannica School

This is one of the EPIC databases. EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. Britannica has articles, journals and periodicals, multimedia, primary sources and other learning resources related to World War Two .

  • Select a level eg Primary.
  • Do a keyword search for 'World War Two'.
  • Select a link from the search results eg World War II.
  • You can move up and down a level if you need to.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it's better to leave out small words like the, a and of and just choose the main ones, eg Somme. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

World History in Context

This is another EPIC database which provides an overview of world history including World War Two. To find the best information we suggest using keywords such as 'The Holocaust' or 'Battle of Normandy.'

  • Do a keyword search for 'Battle of Normandy' or 'The Holocaust'
  • Select a link from the search results e.g Holocaust.
Tips: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

New Zealand website

New Zealand was also involved in World War Two. Here are some good places to find out more about war from a New Zealand perspective and the part this country played.

Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This is one of the best places to start for information about New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Select the Keyword section.
  • Scroll down and click on War and Peace.
  • Then select the article Second World War.
Tips: We like sites like this because they're reliable. You can tell because of their web address - they have either .govt, meaning they are from government or educational organisations.

NZ History

This website has heaps of information about New Zealand's involvement in the Second World War and also what it was like for those back home in New Zealand during that time.

  • Select Topics at the top of the screen.
  • Choose New Zealand at War.
  • Select Second World War.
  • Choose a topic eg The Second World War at home.
Tips: If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

New Zealand Red Cross

During the war the Red Cross played a very active and vital role.

  • To learn more about their contribution, select the About us link at the top of the page.
  • From the drop down menu select Centenary.
  • Then select the topic World War II

NZ ON Screen

This is a great website where you can watch documentaries about the war.

  • Do a keyword search for 'World War Two'.
  • Select a link from the search results eg Behind Our Planes.


There have been many books written on World War Two - check out your local public or school library to see what they have.

Some recommended titles are:

SCIS no: 1905042
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